10 Ways Jeff Van Gundy Changed The Way I Think About Basketball
Jeff Van Gundy, long time ex-NBA head coach and head coach of USA basketball for the FIBA AmeriCup.
1. Why do you take a guy out with 2 fouls?
- You are fouling him out yourself
- Don’t just do what everybody else does, does not mean it is right.
2. Can your team repeat what your team identity is?
- Defend, rebound, low TO, extra pass, high quality shot.
- You have to know what loses before you know what wins.
- Quiz your players on anything and everything.
- Everybody in your program should be speaking the same language.
3. What do you run at the end of the quarter?
- 1–4 flat isolation is the shot you never want, so why do you run it?
- Do you zone? Negatives isolation and middle pick and roll.
- Get action before the real action so that bodies are moving, defence is not set. Below is my preferred end of quarter play, taken from Scott Skiles.
- Try and get the shot you want, a lay up or free throw.
4. Everybody on your team should look exactly the same when you close out and when you screen.
- One hand or two hands? No middle or square?
- Hold screen or separate quick?
- Roll forward pivot or reverse pivot?
5. The game is played 5v5, therefore you need to practice 5v5.
- I have never seen a game in the NBA played 3v3.
- If you don’t practice up and down it will kill your team.
- It will evaluate your conditioning, talent and real game decision making.
- Play 3 minute games with 4pts the difference, you’ll see every situation.
- Practice your D schemes, full talk and intensity at half speed.
6. As a coach you are totally in charge of defensive transition
- Getting to the FT line = perfect defensive transition. Cannot be undervalued.
- Are your rules personnel based?
- Must be moving on the rise of the shot, or else it’s too late.
- Load your trailing big to the ball.
- ‘Hit’ = go and soft trap PG at half court. Then deny back. No rotation, hedge and recover.
- Perfect against PG dominated offence, that starts with middle pick and roll.
7. Culture starts with your best player
- Have to unite and inspire the group
- Has to set a tone of intolerance for anything that gets in the way of winning.
8. Addressing your team
- Don’t just give constant noise to the players.
- Don’t give them the daily rah rah speech of how hard work is required, you don’t think they know that?
- If you speak too much, when you have something valuable to say they won’t listen.
9. Einstein “Be as simple as you can.. and no simpler.”
- Simpler is better, but don’t be ignorant.
- Narrow it down to basic concepts.
- Don’t waste practice time on needless drills.
- What wins and what loses, spend time on that.
10. The Coaching Craft
- You get better at what you do it doing it.
- If you coach every day, you should be getting better if you’re self evaluating and have people around you telling the truth.
- Having time off doesn’t give you a different perspective, the only thing you get is rusty.